Intrepid Travel vs Walking Connection - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
5.0 June 2018
Loved this trip. Camping in very nice places - usually had hot water and nice showers. Great itinerary - LOVED Namibia and the variety of the tour from the desert to the delta to the parks.
5.0 December 2017
Amazing Thailand Family Trip
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.Read more
5.0 October 2017
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy
Tour Delhi to Kathmandu
5.0 August 2015
I met JoAnn and Gene Taylor years ago right after they conceived the idea of Walking Connection and started the program. I knew from the start they are special, caring people who want to make a difference in people's lives by helping them be more active and healthier. Walking consistently will do that...so will the Connections we make as we walk and travel together.Read more
My husband and I traveled with Gene and JoAnn several times. Our favorite trip was to Ireland where the weather was perfect and the sights were thrilling.
We moved to Virginia in the late 90s but have kept the connection and friendship with this very special couple.
If you are looking for walking adventure travel, the Walking Connection is your best source. The trips are well planned, the walks are Taylored to everyone's level of comfort, the destinations are often only available through the Walking Connection and your traveling companions are fun loving and full of life.
5.0 August 2015
Wonderful and accommodating hosts, and first class, fantastic trips. The Walking Connection with Gene and Jo Ann truly make traveling everything it is meant to be. I’ve been on two trips with them and am looking to book my next amazing adventure!Read more
|Tours||1,071 Trips||31 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 187||$ 250|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||Glendale, Arizona, USA|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach.
Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts
Founded in 1989
No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)
Small Groups - max 16 on most trips
Typical Age Range - 18 - 45
Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland
Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels
Average Tour Price - $2,377
Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America
Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos
What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?
Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes average just 10 travelers each, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion.
Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel?
Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages.
Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time, “Original” journeys which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles.
The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods.
Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.
Intrepid Travel Style
Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy.
There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:
1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.
2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.
3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher end, more discerning, accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.
Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel?
Intrepid is a good choice if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you.
It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.
For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.
Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need Travel Insurance?
Yes. Most tour companies require you to have travel insurance, which covers medical emergencies, cancellations, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. There are many options for travel insurance, and Intrepid recommends Travel Guard, which you can purchase through them during the booking process.
2. Are flights included?
No, however Intrepid’s agents can help you find the best fares and routes to get to and from your destination.
3. Are kids welcome?
Intrepid has several Family Trips, where children under 12 are welcome. The age minimum varies based on the kinds of activities included in the trip. On all Intrepid trips, the age minimum is usually 15 with a parent or guardian present. Overland tours require that travelers be 18 or older.
4. How much luggage should I bring?
Bear in mind that on most Intrepid trips you will be required to carry your own luggage. So pack light - backpacks are recommended or an easily transportable small to medium sized suitcase.
5. Does Intrepid Travel have a loyalty program?
Yes! If you take 9 small group trips with them (single day and Urban Adventures don’t count), you will be rewarded with $1,800 (USD or equivilent in your local currency) toward your next trip with Intrepid Travel.
Walking Connection, established in 1989, specializes in inspiring individuals to take a healthy approach to life by being active through walking and hiking.
Around since 1989, it was founded by Gene and Jo Ann Taylor, who started gathering groups for local walks. It got promoted through the local media, and soon the company started getting corporate sponsors. Companies such as Safeway, IBM, and Honeywell have participated in their programs.
The tours are best enjoyed by those who are looking for an active trip and want to explore a new area by foot. If you're looking for a more independent group tour, this is it. You'll be able to have someone set a general itinerary for you and take you to new places, while also having time to relax and explore on your own. You’ll walk around 3-5 miles a day, but a van is available if a ride is needed. They also specialize in luxury travel tours with walking and hiking incorporated into the trips. Groups average in size from 12-14 people, but can go up to 16.
Explore North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Africa through the tours. Tours are currently available in 16 countries and growing each year. A wide variety of activities are covered, including hiking, safari, walking/cultural, trekking, and summit trips.
The Walking Connection pride themselves on being able to explore at a leisurely pace. Trips are moderately challenging to challenging, so you can pick the right one based on your activity level. You will travel by bus or car to get to destinations that are further away. Rest days can be taken if you need to relax for a day.
While Walking Connection tours cater to all age groups, they are most commonly explored by the 40-60 year old age group. Couples as well as individuals will enjoy the tours. Those who have a positive outlook on life and love exploring new cultures will do well on these tours. They have a 90% returning customer rate! You can commit to several weeks for a longer tour, or just 2 nights for a shorter tour. The guides will take the time to see what you're interested in to give personal recommendations. A detailed packing list will be given specific to the trip you pick to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure.